Wisconsin committee OKs drunken driving bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A legislative committee has approved a package of bills that would impose tougher sanctions on drunken drivers.

The Republican-authored measures would change third and fourth offenses from misdemeanors to felonies; ensure all second offenses are misdemeanors and all fourth offenses would be felonies; require mandatory court appearances; impose mandatory sentences for drunken drivers who injure or kill someone; and allow authorities to seize drunken drivers’ cars.

The GOP-controlled Assembly Judiciary Committee approved the six measures Thursday, clearing the way for a vote in the full Assembly. Republican legislative leaders have been noncommittal about the bills, though. The bills carry price tags in the tens of millions of dollars for prosecutors and the state’s prison system. (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)